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December 15 @ 7:00 pm8:00 pm

Amahl and the Night Visitors

Amahl and the Night Visitors: New Jersey Opera Theater at UCPAC

Friday, December 15
7 PM

Conducted by Jestin Pieper
Directed by Dennis Oliveira

New Jersey Opera Theater presents Gian Carlo Menotti’s beloved one act opera sung in English. This 45-minute performance is the perfect introduction to the opera for children and newcomers but is sure to be enjoyed by all!

Amahl and his mother are dazzled by the three kings on the way to Bethlehem on the first Christmas Eve. Amahl’s mother welcomes the royal sojourners who rest in the small, bare house where love and faith work miracles during the night.

Amahl and the Night Visitors was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951, in New York City at NBC Studios. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in the United States.

Come witness a Christmas miracle (and live horses too)!

To purchase accessible seating, please call UCPAC’s Box Office at 732-499-8226.



JESTIN PIEPER – Conductor – is a New York City based pianist, vocal coach, organist, conductor, and educator. As a performer, Mr. Pieper has had guest appearances on the Discovery Channel, WNYC, WNPR and Inwood arts works podcast, and has been heard in performance at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, the Bruno Walter Auditorium in New York, The Long Center in Texas, Harris Hall in Colorado, Parker Concert Hall in North Carolina and many others across the USA and Europe. He has a solo piano album titled “Humoreske” which is available on all streaming services. He also maintains a YouTube channel. Jestin is one of the founding members of the piano trio ensemble Luminae Trio. Luminae has recently received several accolades since their inception in 2020, including the NYFA City Artist City Corps Grant, third prize in the Lancaster Chamber music competition, national finalists in the American Prize in chamber music and American music categories, and are the recipients of the Ensemble Forward grant from Chamber Music America in 2023. More can be found on their website: https://www.luminaetrio.com/.

A sought after vocal coach and collaborator, Jestin has served as a pianist and vocal coach at many prestigious schools and festivals including Manhattan School of music, Mannes School of Music, International Vocal Arts Institute, Mediterranean Opera Studio in Italy, Aspen Music Festival and School, Brevard Music Festival, Manhattan Opera Studio, and the Sherrill Milnes Voice Experience. As a conductor, Jestin made his conducting debut in 2015 at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, and in 2016 was co-founder of the company Create Opera, and was pianist/ conductor for their production Elektra by Strauss. In 2020, Jestin made his VHRP debut conducting a revival of Victor Herbert’s Operetta “Madeline” and received several glowing reviews including: “the arrangement, led by Jestin Pieper, was full of delicate touches that suited the comic libretto and did not compete with the singers”…”the orchestra was alive with colorful detail and, yes, drama, with the result anything but static.” Jestin is delighted to have the opportunity to conduct Amahl and the Night Visitors with New Jersey Opera Theatre in Dec, 2023. For the 2023-24 season he is working as assistant conductor and pianist for Chelsea Opera’s season and serving the duo roles of music director for the music theatre and choir ensembles, as well as collaborative pianist for the music program at Long Island University, Brooklyn RocNation School of Music, Sports and Entertainment.

As an educator for 15 years, Mr. Pieper has extensive experience teaching students from a variety of backgrounds and abilities from beginners to professionals. He has done presentations with organizations such as TMTA, and MTNA, and has done outreach programs from schools to community centers, to bars, to retirement homes to large events. He is a former teaching artist through ArtsBridge, was co-director and piano instructor of the Elmhurst Community School PS-329 Saturday Piano Project in Elmhurst Queens, and curated a concert performance series in Manhattan. In addition, he maintains a vibrant private studio of students who regularly have opportunities to perform across the NYC area.

Mr. Pieper resides happily with his wife Libby and cat Schubert in Washington Heights, NYC. He is currently the Associate Organist and Pianist at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich, CT and is on faculty as an Associate Adjunct Professor of Music at LIU Brooklyn RocNation School of Music, Sports and Entertainment where he teaches Jestin received his Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude, from Lawrence University, a Master of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a professional studies certificate from Manhattan School of Music.

DENNIS OLIVEIRA – Director – is a current student at Columbia University’s MFA Directing program. He is an alumnus of Florida State University’s Grad Opera Directing program, the Institute for American Musical Theatre, the Stella Adler Studio, and he holds his BFA in Acting from Montclair State University. He thanks his parents and his partner for their constant support of his work. Other directing credits include Drought (New York Theatre Festival), Mavra, The Magic Flute (Florida State Opera), and The Wild Party (Old Library Theatre).

KAI LIN – Amahl – began his musical journey at the young age of two. By the age of four, he began his studies under the tutelage of the world-class violinist Rachel Varga. He then pursued studies in piano, music composition, and jazz flute with Dominic Carioti, and also joined Dalia Sakas’s private studio. Kai’s musical talents and curiosity expanded into vocal works, leading him to join Lorraine Helvick’s vocal studio and Matthew Lobaugh’s coaching studio. Kai has performed at many venues in the New York City area and made his international debut performance as a violinist, pianist, and vocalist in 2022. Currently, he holds the position of Associate Concertmaster with the Gemini Youth Symphony Orchestra and performs with Dominic Carioti’s student jazz band. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” holds a special place in Kai’s heart, and he is thrilled to finally bring this character to life, marking his operatic debut as Amahl with the New Jersey Opera Theater.

ELISABETH SHOUP – The Mother – hailed by Parterre Box as “a deep and powerful soprano of great solidity up to the top of the staff,” who “sang… with great force and bite and a strong, even sound,” Elisabeth Shoup is excited to return to the stage with New Jersey Opera. Pre-pandemic, Elisabeth sang Sieglinde in Die Walkure with Manhattan Opera Studio, and performed the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos with Utah Vocal Arts Academy. Other notable credits include title roles in Strauss’ Elektra with Create Opera and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda with Opera Company of Brooklyn. Formerly a mezzo, Elisabeth performed title roles in Carmen and Hansel and Gretel, and Stephano in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. Elisabeth is originally from Cleveland, OH and completed the Double Degree program at Oberlin College and Conservatory, earning degrees in Voice Performance and Theater. She currently teaches and performs in the New York City Area.

JOSEPH MAYON – King Kaspar – has performed in opera, concerts, oratorios, recitals, and musical theater internationally and throughout the United States. A Louisiana native, Mayon attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Louisiana State University, University of Denver, and Brooklyn College Conservatory. Mayon has performed with Taconic Opera, Rome Festival Opera, Hudson Opera Theater, New York Dramatic Voices, TUNDI’s Wagner in Vermont Festival, New York Opera Forum, West Side Opera, Underworld Opera, Vera Musica, & Harmony Project NYC at Carnegie Hall. Roles include Siegmund (DIE WALKÜRE), Florestan (FIDELIO), Parsifal (PARSIFAL Act 2), Pollione (NORMA), Siegfried (GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG Prologue), Luigi (IL TABARRO), Idomeneo (IDOMENEO), Carlo (GIOVANNA D’ARCO), & Loge (DAS RHEINGOLD). Upcoming performances include Siegfried in (SIEGFRIED/
GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG Act 3) with New York Opera Forum, Act 2 of PARSIFAL with New York Dramatic Voices, Siegmund (DIE WALKÜRE) &  Pollione (NORMA) with New Jersey Opera Theater. Mayon is founder of THE MAYON SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS LLC, teaching musical theater after school programs and private voice. Mayon is the former music and choral director at St. John the Apostle School in Clark, NJ, and the Founder and Artistic Director of NEW JERSEY OPERA THEATER LLC.

CHARLES SCHNEIDER – King Melchior – baritone, has performed more than 30 roles throughout the country since his professional debut in the summer of 1999 as the Baron in Verdi’s La Traviata in Little Rock Arkansas. He has most recently been seen as The Bonze in Boheme Opera NJ’s 2023 production of Madama Butterfly and as the baritone soloist in Handel’s Messiah at the New Presbyterian Church in Ft Lauderdale Florida. Over the years, Charles has settled nicely in the Italian repertoire and has since enjoyed performing such roles as: Figaro (Barber of Seville), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Ford (Falstaff), Conte di Luna (Il Trovatore), Schaunard (La Boheme), Michele (Il Tabarro) and Alfio (Cavelleria Rusticana). Charles also enjoys a thriving teaching schedule and is on the voice faculties of Westminster School of the Arts of Rider University and The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville NJ. On Sunday mornings you can find him leading traditional music program at Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church in Liberty Corner NJ.

STEVEN FREDERICKS – King Balthazar – recently sang Marke in Tristan und Isolde with Connecticut Lyric, Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Salt Marsh Opera, Filippo in Don Carlo with Fulham Opera (London), Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Mozart’s Requiem with Konzert Opera Firenze (Italy). Last season he performed Beethoven’s 9th with Eastern Connecticut Symphony and Haydn’s Creation with Paris/Le Mans Symphonie. Other credits include title role in Fliegender Holländer with Connecticut Lyric, Boïto’s Mefistofele with Taconic Opera and Messiah at Carnegie Hall. Internationally, Chuvash State Theatre (Russia) as Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Commendatore at Greve Festival (Italy) and Tod in Kaiser von Atlantis with Israel Chamber Orchestra.

NICHOLAS HAY – The Page/ Balthazar Cover – started singing at a young age in the American Boychoir, and has not looked back since. He has sung in various venues such as Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Merkin Concert Hall, and the 92nd Street Y to name a few. Mr. Hay’s operatic roles include Zuniga in “Carmen”, Rocco in “Fidelio”, Antonio & Bartolo in “Le Nozze di Figaro”, Samuel in “Un Ballo in Maschera” and Peter Quince in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to name a few. Mr. Hay has appeared with Opera Philadelphia, Baltimore Opera Company, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Amore Opera, New York Lyric Opera Theatre, the Peabody Opera Theatre, Chelsea Opera and The Opera Festival of New Jersey. Mr. Hay is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where he earned his Bachelors and Masters of music degrees. While attending Peabody Mr. Hay studied with tenor and radio personality Wayne Conner. He is currently studying with bass Matthew Anchel. An active choral singer, and chamber musician, Mr. Hay sings with Musica Viva in New York City, New York Virtuoso Singers, Bard Festival Chorale, the Crossing, and other choral ensembles.

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December 15
7:00 pm8:00 pm
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